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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1991;6(7):502-11.

Combined liver-kidney and isolated liver transplantations for primary hyperoxaluria type 1: the European experience. The European Study Group on Transplantation in Hyperoxaluria Type 1.

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  • 1Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith, Hospital, London, UK.


The data provided by 14 European centres concerning 22 combined liver-kidney and two isolated liver grafts performed in primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) were discussed at a workshop which drew the following main conclusions: 1. In end-stage renal failure due to PH1 1-year kidney graft survival rate is far better after combined liver-kidney transplantation than after kidney transplantation alone. This may be due to enhanced renal graft tolerance induced by the simultaneously grafted liver, in addition to the reduced risk of oxalate-induced damage to the kidney graft because the oxalate overproduction has been corrected. 2. Prolonged dialysis using conventional regimes gives rise to extensive systemic oxalosis, especially oxalate osteopathy, which leads to long-lasting excretion of large amounts of oxalate even after oxalate synthesis has been normalised by liver-kidney transplantation, with the risk of jeopardising the success of the kidney graft. In addition, oxalate arteriopathy may endanger the recipient's life. 3. Patients whose GFR is in the range of 25-60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 should be followed up closely, with sequential assessments based on the rate of loss of overall renal function and the plasma and urine oxalate values. An isolated liver transplantation should be considered once the disease has been shown to be following an aggressive course. If this strategy is not followed, planning for an elective liver-kidney graft should begin when GFR decreases to about 25 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and the operation should be as soon as possible. 4. As orthotopic liver transplantation involves the removal of the recipient's biochemically defective but otherwise normal liver, the diagnosis of PH1 should be unequivocally established in every case by the measurement of alanine: glyoxylate aminotransferase enzyme activity in a preoperative liver biopsy.

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